Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Translation Robot. (May Trigger.)

Has been working very slowly. That's the only reason I can think for the slowness with which McCain canceled his fundraiser with Clayton Williams:

ABC's Rick Klein reports: Sen. John McCain on Friday abruptly cancelled a Monday fundraiser that had been scheduled at the home of a Texas oilman, after ABC News contacted the campaign inquiring about a verbal blunder the Texan made during an unsuccessful 1990 campaign for governor.

Clayton Williams stirred controversy during his 1990 campaign for governor of Texas with a botched attempt at humor in which he compared rape to weather. Within earshot of a reporter, Williams said: "As long as it's inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it."

Other than not having a very well-developed sense of humor, Williams has all the correct wingnut opinions:

Williams told the Midland Reporter-Telegram recently that he had already raised more than $300,000 for McCain and the fundraiser to be held at his home in Midland. Williams said that he needed to help McCain raise money to stop an Obama campaign that would enact "socialist" policies if elected to office.

"Much of the media, particularly the TV media, are to the left," Williams told the newspaper. "To combat that we must have money to put our case to the people. We are way behind on [fundraising]. If Obama wins, it could move our country to the left, from which we will not recover."

And what do I mean by the translation robot being slow? Obviously someone had to tell McCain why that particular joke mattered enough to cancel the fundraiser.

There are all those onion layers to this little debacle, too. In one layer is a guy who made a stupid comment twenty years ago, and paying to much attention to that stupid comment seems stupid in itself. But in the next layer is the obvious fact that rape is nothing like the weather, that it's very hard to relax and enjoy that knife on your throat, for example, and to make jokes about this is very cruel. Then, deeper still, are the values of a society which have produced such jokes. And the fact that a robot is needed to translate that to politicians.